The Best Laid Plans

So far, my baby journey has not been anything like what I had planned. This makes me sad. I know it shouldn’t. He is happy and healthy (I’m a lucky girl) but I can’t help it.

I didn’t get to give birth. I didn’t even get to try. It is a rite of passage that I was terrified of and excited for. I really wanted to experience it. Since conceiving G was so hard I don’t know if I will get another chance.

I am no longer breastfeeding. To me breastfeeding is like magic. Somehow your body can keep a teeny baby healthy all on its own. It’s pretty incredible. Bottle feeding will never compare to that feeling of connection you get breastfeeding.

My baby is still too small for cloth diapers. Every disposable I throw out makes my heart ache a little for the Earth. Its been two months of waste, and its a tragedy.

Little Bean was born too early so hubby was not able to take paternity leave because of project commitments he had made. So our first couple months have been stressful and tiring instead of the slow snuggle fest I had envisioned.

My mental health has tanked and I have had to start medication again. I felt so wonderful during pregnancy I really believed I had been cured. It is heartbreaking to know I was not, and this garbage will continue. I wanted to be a happy, loving mother who had her shit together. Now I’m a sad one who listens to the WiFi. Obviously, I am getting better because I know now it’s not real, but I still hear it.

It’s really hard to rationalize all these things when you feel like crap.

A friend told me that the ideal of motherhood will never be 100% realized and that is perfectly okay. That we do the things we need to to get by.

My mom says I have a happy baby who loves me. Who doesn’t care that I am formula feeding now, he just wants to be full. Who hasn’t noticed I’m sad because I try so hard to only show him love.

My hubby says were doing the best we can and that should be enough for me. That having to switch to bottles has allowed other people to help more. That a few months of garbage is minor, and all my other plastic-free efforts are off-setting it.

Why can’t I listen to all these people? Why don’t their kind, reassuring words get through to me? Why must I continue to beat myself up and feel miserable?

It doesn’t help when its not only your voice but others telling you your horrible.

I really hate my brain sometimes.

A little early but…

Arriving into this world amidst much drama is our son G!

On July 23 I noticed less fetal movement but I didn’t have a vehicle and didn’t want to bother anyone for a false alarm. When my hubby got home he calmed me down and we went to bed. On waking I had a huge cup of coffee and a sugary breakfast hoping to get a big reassuring kick as usual. There was nothing. So I woke hubby in a blind panic and we went to hospital.

The emergency room attendant sent me immediately to labor and delivery where a nurse swept me into an assessment room and put on a heart rate monitor. The baby’s heart sounded out and I collapsed into relieved sobs. Unfortunately, she did not look happy for very long looking at the strip. She quickly left and called in my doctor. My GP arrived about a half hour later, she also looked concerned but trying to look nonchalant at the strip. She left to call in the OB/GYN.

The OB/GYN felt around my belly, looked at the strip, said we ‘had time for an ultrasound’ and told me to prepare to be there ‘for the night’. At this point I was trying my best not to panic and absolutely willing the baby to move, even a little, so I could calm down. Waiting for the ultrasound was the longest hour of my life.

The tech said things looked good, and I breathed a sigh, but returning to the room the OB/GYN came back right away and said baby is now suddenly breech and ‘throwing decels more and more often’. She didn’t think baby would make it through an induced labour and that we needed a c-section, like now-ish.

The whole time she was so calm and confident. I felt safe in her hands but TERRIFIED to go into surgery. I had seen about 6 or 7 c-sections in med school. They are pretty brutal, and the recovery is long. I also had been preparing for weeks to warrior-goddess this baby into the world through my hoo-hah and was so disappointed I wouldn’t even get to try.

Within 15 minutes they were wheeling me to the OR and I was fighting tears, trying to stay brave for hubby who was freaking out. They took him to get ready and I went into the cold operating room alone.

Again, the nurses were warm and competent, and I was prepared to surrender my body to them. Terrified of the epidural a lovely nurse held my shoulders and coached me through. After the freezing I couldn’t even feel the needle go in. It was so surprising. And then my legs felt bizarre and I was turned onto the table and the real business began. In a flurry of activity everything was set up and they were cutting before hubby even arrived. I was so worried he would miss it, but our baby had to be wrestled out and he made it in time. Apparently, the cord was wrapped THREE TIMES around baby’s neck.

They took baby to the warmer- and it didn’t cry. I have NEVER been so scared. After a few seconds of me yelling ‘why isn’t he crying!?’ I heard that first scream. Immediate, uncontrollable water works. I was told he was a HE and weighed 5lbs 8oz. They brought a teenie-tiny little bundle over for a quick picture with daddy and then whisked him away.

I sent hubby with baby. I lay there now very much alone while I was sewn closed. The doctors had seemingly forgot about me and chatted about their lives while I lay and worried silently. It was the strangest sensation to be aware that they were pushing and prodding but not feeing any pain or discomfort.

What felt like forever later I was moved to ‘recover’ in labour and delivery. This involved a very brisk nurse filling out paperwork and occasionally coming over to see if I could move yet. Eventually she noticed my (normal apparently) uncontrollable shaking and brought many warm blankets. When I finally stopped shaking and didn’t feel like I was going to throw up any longer they let me get into a wheelchair and be rolled over by hubby to see my little boy.

He was unbelievably small but entirely beautiful. He was sleeping soundly despite being hooked to many wires and on a glucose drip. They let me hold him for a few minutes, but I felt like I was going to throw up/pass out and reluctantly put him back in the incubator.

By the next morning I insisted on (very slowly) walking with IV pole and catheter bag over to NICU. I stayed until the pain was so great I had to return for drugs and a lay down. The doctor visited and I was saline locked and catheter removed. The freedom was a relief and I made the seemingly enormous (300m) journey back and forth to NICU to feed and snuggle.

Unfortunately, his recovery was not smooth and was under jaundice lights for several days with and without a feeding tube. BUT within 6 days he was eating fully on his own and out of the incubator and the lights. At one week we got to bring our little boy home.

The relief of being out of hospital (which was incredibly triggering, more to come later) and in my own home was immense. I launched into getting things organized and running smoothly. It was hit and miss, and the lack of sleep and meds (also more to come) made things VERY hard. Now, 8 days later I feel like things are starting to come together. G has put all his birthweight back on- plus quite a bit- and seems to love being our baby. We are pleased as punch and can’t wait for the rest of this journey… I just hope it’s a bit less dramatic then the start.